Policy Primer: Utility Resource Planning

Utility resource planning continues to evolve as state regulators take a holistic approach to evaluate the energy delivery process and strive to provide more transparency in the planning process. Carbon reduction is becoming a key component of integrated resource plans (IRPs) amid the influx of distributed energy resources and new renewable generation under various state programs. IRPs provide an evaluation of utilities’ future electricity needs and potential means to meet the requirements.

Visual Primer: Natural Gas Planning Being Reshaped by Policies Centered on Climate-Focused Energy Future

Ongoing state initiatives to transition to a low-carbon future and new actions from the federal level are impacting natural gas utilities’ long-term planning strategies. The challenge for utilities is to adapt to the changing policy landscape, evolving in ways that contribute to decarbonization.

Ohio Lawmakers Pass Bill to Revoke $1.1 Billion Nuclear Subsidy

The Ohio legislature on March 25 passed a bill to repeal the provisions of a 2019 law that provided FirstEnergy Solutions Corp., which is now known as Energy Harbor Corp., with annual subsidies of nearly $150 million over seven years to keep its ailing nuclear plants operating. Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, a Republican, is expected…...

Visual Primer: Decarbonization Timelines Drive Interest in Advanced Nuclear Reactors

Recent progress towards commercializing small modular reactors (SMRs) has sparked interest in the role of advanced nuclear technologies to accomplish decarbonization goals. Twenty states and jurisdictions across the U.S. now have 100 percent clean energy mandates or goals, implying the need for a portfolio of every available carbon-free technology that can be deployed on a timeline compatible with their targets.

Visual Primer: Fallout From Winter Storm Uri Elicits Regulatory Actions Across U.S. States

The fallout from severe arctic weather during February has prompted regulators from Texas to Montana to examine utility infrastructure, preparedness and response, and impacts to customers. Texas, which experienced the worst power outages resulting from Winter Storm Uri, has issued multiple orders and initiated investigations to address the impacts of the grid event. Following announcements of an inquiry into the grid event and the possibility of market violations, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is now set to examine the impacts of climate change and extreme weather events on electric system reliability. Regulators across several U.S. states are investigating the after-effects of the storm to mitigate bill impacts to customers while exploring cost-recovery for utilities which faced extraordinary expenses as natural gas prices soared to unprecedented levels.

Visual Primer: Texas Power Outages Draw Scrutiny into Grid Operator’s Market Design and Reliability

The widespread power outages across Texas during the extreme winter weather conditions brought about by a polar vortex in mid-February has raised questions about the reliability of the power grid operated by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas Inc. (ERCOT). The grid operator, which manages about 90 percent of the state’s electric load, reported that 48.6 percent of generation was forced out at the highest point due to the winter storm.

ERCOT Holds Emergency Board Meeting In Light of Sweeping Power Failures Across Texas

The Electricity Reliability Council of Texas Inc. (ERCOT) Board of Directors on Feb. 24 convened for an emergency meeting to discuss and analyze the issues that led to grid infrastructure failures across Texas from Feb. 12 onwards. These outages were prompted by the presence of a polar vortex which brought about severely cold weather conditions…...

EnerKnol Special Report Part II: ERCOT Forecast Risks

EnerKnol is committed to providing real-time transparency of the fragmented and highly technical landscape of energy regulation. With this as our guiding principle we are examining our database of over 35,000,000 regulatory records for insights into last week's Texas outages.

Visual Primer: State Decarbonization Goals Spur Innovative Resource Planning Measures

Innovations in energy planning continue to emerge as state regulators devise programs and explore solutions that effectively meet customer needs and support policy goals. Recent state initiatives range from New York’s efforts to align gas planning with climate goals, to Maine’s investigation into the future design of the grid to accommodate growing renewables, and California’s transmission planning guidance to achieve ambitious decarbonization goals.

Enerknol Special Report: Texas Outages Raise Questions About ERCOT’s Reliability

EnerKnol is committed to providing real-time transparency of the fragmented and highly technical landscape of energy regulation. With this as our guiding principle we are examining our database of over 35,000,000 regulatory records for insights into last week's Texas outages.

New England Capacity Auction Prices Rebound from Record Lows

ISO New England Inc.’s fifteenth annual forward capacity auction concluded with preliminary clearing prices ranging from $2.48 to $3.98 per kilowatt-month across different pricing zones, up from last year’s record low, according to the results released on Feb. 11. Clearing prices declined since peaking at $9.55 per kilowatt-month in 2015 and hit an all-time low…...

U.S. Energy Department Approves $1.4 Billion Cost-Share Award for Advanced Nuclear Project

The U.S. Energy Department has approved a cost share award of up to $1.355 billion, allocated over 10 years, as funds are appropriated by Congress, to demonstrate and deploy a 12-module NuScale reactor located at Idaho National Laboratory. Carbon Free Power Project LLC, an entity owned by Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems, or UAMPS, will…...